New Year, New Book

Happy New Year!

That’s a bit late, and so, by way of explanation, let me begin with P.G. Wodehouse’s Cocktail Time.
Told he must write another book, to build on the phenomenal success of his first, Sir Raymond (aka “Beefy”) Bastable responds,

“But I can’t, I tell you! It nearly killed me, writing Cocktail Time. You haven’t any conception what it means to sweat your way through one of these damned books. I daresay it’s all right for fellows who are used to it, but for somebody like myself…I’d much rather be torn to pieces with red-hot pincers.”

I’m here to tell you that even some of us who are used to it fully understand Beefy’s sentiments, although we may not be quite ready to be torn to pieces with red-hot pincers.

In short, as Wodehouse points out earlier in the book, “there is a lot more to this writing business than the casual observer would suppose.” I was comforted to learn that even he, who not only wrote hundreds of books but also screenplays, songs, magazine articles, short stories, and so on, at the rate of what seems to be 200 a day, did not write as effortlessly as his works would make it appear.

All of this is an overlong prelude to the question: When is the next book coming out?

Not being nearly as prolific as he was despite the difficulties he speaks of so poignantly, I am in the last stages of the Work-In-(snail-like) Progress. If I finish it within the next few weeks, it will be out in November of this year. I seem to have a prayer of accomplishing this. Please send as much positive thinking my way as you can. I am not ashamed to ask.

Images, from top: The Important Response, Florent Joseph Marie Willems, courtesy the Walters Art Museum; cover of Cocktail Time (scanned from my copy); telegram from Dorothy Parker to her editor, courtesy Letters of Note (with thanks to Susan Holloway Scott/Isabella Bradford, who first forwarded the telegram image to me).

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.

 

That Watch in Lord of Scoundrels

 

At a recent authors event, readers asked about the naughty watch a character buys in my book Lord of Scoundrels: Was this based on research or imagination?

If you Google “erotic watches,” you’ll know I wasn’t making this stuff up. So yes, the idea came from research—done in the days before Google existed, I ought to point out. These days, it would have been easier.

While I was aware of snuff boxes with erotic scenes inside the lid, the pornographic watch was news to me. I was especially intrigued to learn that watchmakers had been creating these devices as early as the late 1700s. This includes Abraham-Louis Breguet, a famous, highly-regarded watchmaker mentioned in Lord of Scoundrels.

Eric Bruton’s The History of Clocks & Watches offers a black and white illustration of a carriage watch, from which I developed the one in my book:

“It shows the time, day, date, and sidereal time, strikes the hours and quarters, and plays tunes on six bells. On the back a human figure in three parts keeps changing and below it some ‘curtains’ can be drawn aside to reveal an animated pornographic scene.” 

The watch was made in London in 1790.

Though it’s not like the watch shown in The History of Clocks and Watches, this one works more or less the same way: an innocent front, with an animated scene on the other side. Googling the subject will bring you quite a few examples, including one on YouTube.

Image (not erotic to my knowledge): Chevalier et cachet watch between 1790-1799 (gift of Liz and Peter Moser, 2006), courtesy Walters Art Museum.

A version of this post originally appeared at Two Nerdy History Girls.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.

EBooks in Germany

A German reader recently asked why she couldn’t find any German eBook editions of my books. Since I had been informed that arrangements had been made with my German publishers, I asked my agent for an update.

Here’s the good news.

First, I found Vixen in Velvet online, so that eBook appears to be available right now.

Second, more are coming soon, including two at the end of this month.

The schedule is as follows:

SILK IS FOR SEDUCTION (Skandal in Samt und Seide) –October 31th 2016

SCANDAL WEARS SATIN (Sinnliche Küsse eines Earls) – October 31th 2016

MISS WONDERFUL (Ein unverschämt charmanter Gentleman) – November 11th 2016

MR. IMPOSSIBLE  (Eine hinreißend widerspenstige Dame) – November 11th 2016

NOT QUITE A LADY (Eine verführerisch unnahbare Lady) –December 5th 2016

LORD PERFECT (Ein skandalös perfekter Lord) –December 12th 2016

YOUR SCANDALOUS WAYS (Verführung auf Venezianisch) –January 2nd 2017

LAST NIGHT’S SCANDAL (Ein verlockend beherrschter Earl) –April 10th 2017

LORD OF SCOUNDRELS (Gezähmt im Bett der Lady) –April 10th 2017

Many thanks to my readers in Germany for their loyalty and patience!